Ofcom chief operating officer Ed Richards says his proposal for a Public Service Publisher (PSP)—a key plank of Ofcom's review of public service broadcasting completed a year ago—is "an idea before its time".
Richards, tipped to take over from Ofcom CEO Stephen Carter, said the transition to digital-only television was demonstrating that "the historic, analogue, public service model" of television was "breaking down".
He told The Observer: "Literally hundreds of millions of pounds will seep out of public service funding and we have to ask ourselves as a country if we want to maintain the strong tradition of public service broadcasting."
Ofcom's review said the PSP would be publicly funded, and charged with using new media platforms such as broadband, mobile and digital broadcasting to deliver distinctive, high-quality, UK-originated public service content.
Richards said: "The BBC is at its best when it's got a challenge from another public service broadcaster, whether it's Channel 4 news keeping Newsnight on its toes, high quality drama on ITV or World in Action vying with Panorama.
"You've got to recreate that in the new world. You want a strong and independent, properly funded BBC, a strong Channel 4, and you may want something else as well; that would be a strong public service mixture. It's an idea that's years away but I stand by it. In 10 years' time something like that will have happened."
Lovelace Consulting | 06.02.2006